PLM: Convergence of Software
Software giants like Oracle are changing the scope of Enterprise Software. Oracle’s vision of Fusion is uniting software suites that have long had no relationship. Consider ERP and PLM. While ERP has been the backbone of business infrastructure, PLM has created a platform for managing engineering assets.What if the two technologies were to merge? That’s exactly what’s happening. PLM is moving from engineering centric foundation to include management capabilities of the lifecycle of products, from design to manufacture, and across global operations.An IDC report from December 2007 cited three reasons for why PLM is finding broader application. PLM drives quality standards. It is cost effective. And it has been found that PLM can dramatically speed the manufacturing process from concept to reality.The use of PLM in a sense virtualizes the manufacturing process, making the exact location of the components of the process less important.The IDC report suggests that the use of PLM will double over the next two years. PLM allows companies to design more effective manufacturing processes, and it allows new processes to be created quickly based on elements of existing ones. As such, PLM no longer is isolated to Engineering, it touches on all parts of the Enterprise, and is being integrated with more traditional elements of business software, like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).